Fungi have a worldwide distribution, and grow in a wide range of habitats, including extreme environments such as deserts or areas with high salt concentrations or ionizing radiation, as well as in deep sea sediments.
Around 100,000 species of fungi have been formally described by taxonomists, but the global biodiversity of the fungus kingdom is not fully understood. On the basis of observations of the ratio of the number of fungal species to the number of plant species in selected environments, the fungal kingdom has been estimated to contain about 1.5 million species; a recent estimate suggests there may be over 5 million species. In mycology, species have historically been distinguished by a variety of methods and concepts. Classification based on morphological characteristics, such as the size and shape of spores or fruiting structures, has traditionally dominated fungal taxonomy. Species may also be distinguished by their biochemical and physiological characteristics, such as their ability to metabolize certain biochemicals, or their reaction to chemical tests. The biological species concept discriminates species based on their ability to mate.
Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fungi – 07.10.2008
Mushrooms in Fallen Leaves
These mushrooms make an exceptional contrast to fallen leaves and branches on the forest soil, because of their colour and gentle, bright configuration.